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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 1, 2009 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Some '76 help

So deadmax - what have other highlights of '76 been for you? After plowing through '77, where do you stand on '76 versus '77?

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Poster: deadmax Date: Sep 1, 2009 6:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Some '76 help

I really liked your reply to my request and tried to respond several times today at work but people kept wanting me to do my work instead of hang out on Dead boards. Go figure.

I have lots of hightlights from for foray so far. Some standouts are the PITB and LIG from 6/4 as well as the Stella Blue and Dancin.

6/9 is, of course, a powerhouse show, it's like they're practicing for the same date a year later. Eyes is jazzy and Miles-ish, BE Women is beautiful, LL and Sup are better here than any version in 77. High Time is a masterpiece. Dancin' really goes places and Wharf Rat is simply beautiful with Donna adding many layers.

6/10 takes off with Mission and just keeps going. Keith is up front and doing beautiful things in all the songs in the show. LL Rain is gorgeous but Might as Well comes in like a cigar-chompin wrestler that whups the shit out of the audience but they are submissively willing. H/S/F is great and it's interesting how Slipknot seems to be the star of '76 for me. It constantly morphs and changes and really dominates the trio in most versions. But its the Playin that takes us to the outer edges and refuses to send us nary a postcard while it morphs into a soul-dominating Dancin. Good, jazzy stuff here.

For 6/11, the Scarlet is the cosmic standout of the first set. It goes places most Scarlet's don't go. The Second set is a masterpiece from the beginning to the end. Saint Stephen is actually jammed out and trippy the way it should be. All the songs have the band present and basically playing them like making love to Juliet. On acid of course.

6/12 might be the best of the Boston Run. It sizzles like drops of the Nile on a young nubian breast sunning in the lush delta. The highlight of this show is the Comes a Time - simply breathless.

The Beacon shows are not as good. To me. Great stuff, don't get me wrong, just not overall as good.

6/14 has a fantastic Big River and and cosmic spacey PITB to end the first set. Crazy Fingers in the 2nd set is epic and devolves into yet another killer Dancin. Slipknot! steals the entire show!! Really an incredible journey into running on starlight to sloshing through thick primordial muck. The Franklins that follows is not that great.

6/15 highlights include the LIG/Drums/LIG in the first set. Saint Stephen and NFA are Jammy. The Wheel is nice.

The Capitol theatre run is very nice. 6/17 is the most over-all show with 6/18 having a better first set than second and 6/19 has a stupendous 2nd set.

6/17 starts out with a bang with CR&S and Big River. Scarlet is muscular and tight. Slipknot! steals the show again with a second-set Supplication vying for the top spot. The LIG is played tightly like Jerry is rearranging a glass menagerie over and over again on small glass shelves in his parlour. Every note has "meaning".

6/18 SUGAREE is one of those big ones that does everything right and has perfectly-placed notes all over the place. MAMA TRIED is bright and jaunty. CRAZY FINGERS is lilting and beautiful with tones of Moorish Spain or floating on the Nile on a lazy day conjuring spirits from the clouds. BIG RIVER is very big and just the way I like ‘em. LL RAIN is finally a good version for this month. I think this song has been sorely lacking so far but this is THE ONE that says what this song really is. Jerry’s trills during the solo are beautiful. ROW JIMMY is outstanding and slow but powerful with beautiful harmonies. CASSIDY is a very unique version. It starts off on a completely different beat than usual then goes into the song. It is short and good but the ending is different as well – very abrupt. Second set does not stand out.

6/19 2nd Set starts off with a bang! MIGHT AS WELL takes off and has some fantastic jamming by Jerry and Bob. You can tell Jerry is really into it. By now though, everyone is present and well-informed. Donna is nice and Phil’s bass with the drums really blends in while also standing out. SAMSON is great but it always is. HIGH TIME might be one of my all-time favorites! Everyone is so on it is unbelievable. Jerry’s voice is perfect and Donna blends in like butter in cream sauce. Beautiful! LIT starts off flying and doesn’t let up. It has that feel of elephants dancing across a field of marshmallows without squishing any. Very tight and wonderful to listen to. It goes into a powerful drums then slips lazily back into a short outro that starts to morph into Dancin with over a minute left. The segue into DANCIN is just stupendous. This is a high-octane Dancin that’s only 11 min long but is jam-packed.

The Tower Theater run is great at the front-end then mellows a bit. The 21st and 22nd just sizzle and pop!

6/21 The stand-out of the first set is ROW JIMMY and is is hauntingly beautiful without being pretentious. It's a Walt Whitman poem set to music. THE WHEEL starts the second set off beautifully and doesn't really let up. HELP really starts to develop but it is Slipknot once again that catches that brass ring. It ties itself into endless knots then slowly unties them all until it become the majesty and glory that FRANKLIN'S can really be.

6/22 This show is pure magic! The playing is very tight and how do they do that and all? Set 1 is more like a dream 1st set and 2nd set combined. 22 min PITB to start the 2nd set? The Wheel reminds me of Baltimore '82 where they take their time getting to the first verse. Beer Barrel Polka into Eyes? Huh? Speedy yet beautiful version of Eyes, they are really experimenting with all the songs and the placement and the tempo and all of it becomes a big cosmic soup of comets and leprechauns that meld and blend into a huge bowl of GD Stew that is served with a nice topping of raindrops on stained glass.

Well, those are some of my standouts so far.

You asked what I think of '76 compared to '77. Well, '76 still has a lot of the jams that they were doing pre-hiatus that seemed to fall away beginning in 77. The music is more pristine and consistent in 77 and large and big and all but it is a fairly consistent year with a lot of the shows sounding alike. In a very good way though.

76 feels like it's trying to jump the grand canyon on a canary. It seems to go everywhere and they are so experimental and willing to try just about anything. The LIG from 9/25 just - ends. Slipknot!, Cosmic Charlie, Mission. They say 76 is a sleepy year but I find the contrary to be the case. It's just that some of the shows are slowed down but some of them are so large they can't even fit in the arena or stadium. Just really big stuff. 76 sounds more like The Grateful Dead to me than 77.

Both years are very dear to me as are many of the years prior but I must say for sheer ballsy-ness and willing-ness to go where the music leads them that 76 is really the year of THE DEAD.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 2, 2009 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Some '76 help

You have been listening!

I must add one highlight, though - the 6/19/76 Playing - it's like a flashback to '74; I preferred it to the Playings of (from memory) 6/4 and 6/10, which kind of dissolved.

Anyway, '76 is a unique year with some sweet playing, unpredictable sets, standout Slipknots, and a bunch of little out-of-nowhere jams. For these things, I prefer it to '77....
With '77 we get the consistent sets, the 'bigger' sound, and of course some nice new songs....but I think the Dead also get more rigid in their style, less willing to jam outside the song format. Could be any number of reasons for this - people talk about the 'two drummers' but I'm not so sure. (Those July '76 Orpheum shows with their zigzag go-anywhere jams also had two drummers.) May be a combination of the Terrapin recording process, new tones & equipment that influenced the playing, a desire to 'rock out' more, or a decision to have less far-out jamming (like in 1980, too).

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Poster: deadmax Date: Sep 2, 2009 4:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Some '76 help

You are right about the PITB from 6/19. Someone on the archive called it Dark Star-ish and it is that indeed. It goes places seemingly for no reason and leaves the whole theme of Playin behind while it skates among the comets and cosmic dust then comes on home. Good Call.

I'm preferring 76 but I will always love 77. Of course there are reasons to like every year and the music is, well, the music and it must stand on it's on for its artistic merit for what they were trying to do that night. I think they try to do lots of different things in 76 that don't make their way to 77.

Don't get me started on 74 though.

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Poster: dilcurrie Date: Sep 2, 2009 4:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Some '76 help

the music evolved, and we evolve, sometimes certain years or eras seem more appropriate than others, though we all have favourite years no one would completely dismiss the other 29...